Microsoft promises ‘next chapter in enterprise mobility’ at Ignite event

(c)iStock.com/Jason Doiy

Remember the Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS)? Among the announcements back in March last year of Office 365 being made available on iPads, Microsoft’s play in a fully functioning enterprise mobility solution was hidden under the fanfare.

With that in mind, Microsoft announced a string of new enterprise-flavoured products at its Ignite event, with EMS as the poster child for this change. Here’s what Redmond has announced on the enterprise side:

  • Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA): an on-premises product which analyses, learns and identifies normal user behaviour, therefore spotting the abnormal cases and protecting the enterprise from advanced targeted attacks. The product came about after Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Aorato, and plays into the trend of a hybrid identity solution.
  • Intune conditional access and mobile application management (MAM) for Outlook: Intune, Microsoft’s cloud-based MDM offering, now restricts access to the Outlook app based upon device enrolment and compliance policies. Admins will also be able to restrict actions, such as cot, copy and paste, between the Outlook app and personal apps. Intune has also been updated for Windows 10.
     
  • Azure: Microsoft also announced public previews of Azure AD Privileged Identity Management, whereby customers can monitor and restrict privileged accounts, as well as Azure Rights Management Document Tracking, which, as it says on the tin, allows users to track activities on sensitive files they have shared with others, as well as revoke access in a single click.

The announcement of Microsoft enabling access to Office on iPads (and later Android tablets) kicked off a major shift in strategic focus – not particularly surprising, given nascent CEO Satya Nadella’s experience in enterprise and cloud systems before taking the top job at Redmond. Microsoft says that, during its first year in market, enterprise mobility customers grew over 70% to more than 13,000, with a seven-fold increase in users.

In March this year Microsoft officially announced built-in mobile device management support to Office 365 in a freemium play, another key tenet of the Nadella era. Basic MDM is the initial option; anyone looking for more will be pointed in the direction of Intune. Add this in to the various cloud offerings, such as unlimited OneDrive storage to Office 365 users, and security becomes even more important.

A blog post from the Microsoft enterprise mobility team read: “The enterprise mobility market is still an emerging industry that will continue to rapidly evolve as both vendors and customers work to solve for the convergence of productivity, identity and device management. It’s been a great first year for EMS, and we are thrilled that our customers continue to see the value of our enterprise mobility offerings.”

 

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